BOINC Resource Share?

Paula Sandusky ID: 1809 Posts: 4
09 May 2013 03:01 AM

I've been keeping Malaria@Home on hold from downloading new work units, because it's chronically hogging up processing time. Nothing gets done on my machine for World Community Grid, SETI@Home, or Einstein@Home when Malaria sends me scads of work units that happen to be due back in three days.

I've tried changing the interval after which applications switch in BOINC, but that doesn't do anything when all those work units are due so soon that they get high priority. I've got a sneaking suspicion that the culprit is the resource share for Malaria@Home, which is set to 200 (WCG and SETI are set to 100; Einstein is set to 25). Not sure how that might be changed, or even if I could change it clientside. 

Is there anything I could do here to make these apps play a little more amicably in my computer's sandbox?

Jonathan Brier ID: 159 Posts: 112
09 May 2013 01:45 PM

Hi Paula,  

Charity Engine's design is oriented in a set and forget with Charity Engine adding and removing projects for participants in a fully managed design.  While compatible with other BOINC projects adding other projects manually reduces the contribution and points generated on Charity Engine.  Now on to your question.

What you are describing with is the behavior of computing debt that has built up and with the balance of the resource shares over time they will compute at those reletive ratios.  If you let all run as they should over time the ratio of work done would be proportional to the project resource share vs the entire resource pool (total of all projects' resource shared added).  The current configuration of projects you discribe will see use little less than 50% of the computing time.  These shares are not able to be set on the client as they are project level controls.  Letting malariacontrol run will decrease the debt and eventually the ratio of work done for each project is reflected.

Additionally depending on what version of BOINC / Charity Engine you are running the behavior about how tasks are downloaded is also different.  The current Charity Engine version 6 mixes what tasks and projects are downloaded at the same time.  While the upcoming version 7 downloads more in a batch style where all the same project runs at the same time depending on the balance of the shares.

Charity Engine participants are unable to manage resource share of projects added by Charity Engine in the design of allowing us to dynamically shift resources as needed for computing capacity for what helps raise funds for charities as that is the main mission of Charity Engine.

While not encouraged, the resource shares of manually added projects can be adjusted to help create a more desired ratio of work between manually added projects and Charity Engine managed projects ratio total.  Though Charity Engine managed project ratio changes are not announced.

Example: WCG & SETI could be set to 200 each and the work for stays at 200 should be abount equal in total work done while Einstein@home will produce ~25/625 of the work.  

You may still see high priority depending on the average time your comptuer is on vs work needing to be completed by deadlines, but over time the software should learn and reduce the instances which high priority are required unless deadlines are very short.  The recommended philosophy is to set once and use a you would normally and upgrade to newer versions when announced.  

I hope this explains the behavior and what you might be able to do to shift it to more how you would like.

Thank you for participating in Charity Engine.

Paula Sandusky ID: 1809 Posts: 4
09 May 2013 04:33 PM

Hi, Jonathan --

I'm wondering why you're telling me about manually adding projects that already run with Charity Engine. WCG and SETI aren't Charity Engine projects at all -- in fact, I was running them well before I started running Charity Engine. Malaria and Einstein are only on my machine because of Charity Engine. Further, I do take some offense at what I'm detecting as repetitive implications that I'm running BOINC just for Charity Engine, or that I'm looking for Charity Engine points above all -- or that somehow I should be doing either. Charity Engine was not the first game on the distributive computing block, after all.

While I appreciate the time and eloquence you devoted to a reply to my question, for purposes of user support forum QA/QC, I would suggest a slightly less didactic approach. (Something like the above may be more appropriate on a Wiki.)

Thank you!

Jonathan Brier ID: 159 Posts: 112
09 May 2013 05:33 PM

Hi Paula,

My deepest appologies if offense was taken as none was implied nor was I trying to imply your reasons for participating in Charity Engine.  

In my response I attempted to highlight the differences in the activities between Charity Engine which is built upon BOINC and the traditional function of BOINC, the related projects and explain the behaviors reported.

Charity Engine attracts all levels of tech savvy persons thus striking the right balance is hard to gauge until the first response.  I took a conservative approach to answer the question thoughly.  I will work on being clearer and more concise in future responses.

I referred to the WCG and SETI projects as manually added projects to differentiate between the Einstein and Malaria projects as these could be either have been manually added or as in many cases for those participating in Charity Engine they are added by Charity Engine.

As a fellow BOINC user and participant before Charity Engine began I trying to be helpful on all configureations with Charity Engine.  All projects have value.

I hope this clarifies the response and intent.  I thank you for the tact displayed in your feedback as is is a great way to help shape our support process.